The end of the school year is always a tough time. For one thing, it’s always too jam-packed with events. For another, it’s so busy that I struggle to take in the importance of different milestones as they whip past.
This past Thursday was my last day as a middle school and high school library aide—at least while the students are in the building. The last day of classes at Twin Cities Academy where I work is June 1, and I’ll be busy at another job during the entire last week of school. So Thursday was my last day of “student contact.” It was a bittersweet experience seeing the middle schoolers, in particular, so full of end-of-the-year energy. (High schoolers are always working overtime to look a little blasé, even when they’re excited.)
I’ve been at TCA for about five years, but in a few weeks I’m moving across country. This time, the end of the school year also marks the end of a phase of my career.
At the same time, tomorrow marks both a beginning and an end. For several years I’ve had the privilege to teach fourth through seventh graders at Young Author Conferences in Minnesota. My hands-down favorite "YAC" is the multi-day event for Twin Cities Metro students organized by Success Beyond the Classroom and held at Bethel University.
|See: here's what I love about the Young Author Conference at Bethel. The folks at Success Beyond the Classroom are so, so organized! They've already got everything ready for a great week.|
I get to teach writing to kids who are super-talented and highly motivated. They get to sample what life in middle school (changing classes and wandering lost down hallways) will be like. Plus, they get to sample all kinds of forms of expression, from screenplay writing to hip-hop. It’s tons of fun.
I can’t quite see myself commuting from Massachusetts to teach again next spring at the Young Author Conference, so I’ll just have to savor this ending—and listen extra close to the stories my students have to share.
PS to folks in the Twin Cities. I’ll be sharing stories from my newest book, Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul on Friday, June 1, at 7PM. Cake will be served and books will be signed! Please join me.